In 2009, over 100 million prescriptions for PPIs were written in the US alone, representing a sale of USD 13 billion. Source: CNN
However, this doesn’t even come close to the actual sales figures. That’s because these medicines are available over the counter and that figure is much higher than this.
It is estimated that only 15% of PPIs are sold through prescriptions. The rest are sold over the counter.
This happens mostly because people continue taking these medicines post the prescribed period as it offers symptomatic relief to acidity.
Officially, the US Food and Drug Administration has advised that no more than three 14-day treatment courses should be used in one year. Source: USFDA
But people take these medicines everyday.
Now how helpful or harmful are these medicines REALLY?
Lets start by listing down some well known side effects.
- High dose and/or long-term use of PPIs carries a possible increased risk of bone fractures. Source: USFDA
- Some studies have shown a correlation between use of PPIs and Clostridium difficile infections.
- Long-term use of PPIs is associated with the development of benign polyps
- PPI use has also been associated with the development of microscopic colitis. Source: oxford
Other common associations are:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver damage
- Imbalanced Lipid profile
These symptoms are very common with PPIs. But being a drug to heal acidity, why does it have these side effects?